I wanted to name this post – Ketsuekigatabetsu Onna ga Kekkon Suru Hoho (血液型別オンナが結婚する方法): A Bolin Chen fangirl perspective which sounds more like a legitimate post in a drama blog and probably better for SEO. But then it’s way too long and would look a bit wacky in the current layout? Anyway, so I went on some random (but still Bolin related) YouTubing last night and watched this video. I’ve seen it before but I figured it was about time for me to watch the actual episode? I don’t watch J-dramas, not a reflection on its quality or anything, just that TW/HK/CN dramas occupy a lot of my time already and doesn’t leave much for anything else!
Ketsuekigatabetsu Onna ga Kekkon Suru Hoho (loosely translated: How women of different blood types get married) is a four part J-drama broadcasted in the beginning of 2009. It consists of four episodes, each telling a different story with different actors. I haven’t watched the other three episodes yet but apparently all four women have the same name, but different blood types. The theory goes each blood type have different personality traits (kinda like star signs I guess). As the name suggests, each story tells how woman of a certain bloody type finds a man and get married. (Let’s just ignore how potentially sexist this may seem…)
Bolin appears in story number 3, about a woman with the O blood type. Our heroine Sachie Harukawa (Kashii Yu) is 24 years old, hasn’t had a relationship in three years, lives with her parents and has a pretty relaxed attitude on life. Taking away all my Bolin bias (as much as possible anyway) I really enjoyed this short story. Sure, their ending is completely unrealistic but just imagine how good it would be if this was say, five episodes so their development won’t be so rushed. I actually don’t know my blood type, but now I’m wondering whether I am an “O” because I can really identify with her (some traits more than others of course!).
The story begins with Sachie working part time in a furniture store. She doesn’t take her work seriously and her favourite activity seems to be staring at the jellyfish aquarium daydreaming. Why? Because they can spend their day just drifting and so carefree. Her mother thinks she should find a boyfriend and a better job, her best friend is a hardworking, corporate OL type who is learning a lot of other things (eg. foreign languages, cooking) so she can move up the ladder / find a husband. Our heroine however, just happy to take each day as it is, with no savings, and no goals in life.
This conversation between mother and daughter is my favourite:
Mother: Why did you quit that job as a public servant?
Sachie: Because it’s so boring!
Mother: But all jobs are boring anyway!
I laughed so hard at this because this was exactly a conversation I had with my father some years ago. And yeah, that was one of the reasons I quit a public service job LOL!
So one day, Sachie meets Eddie Chang (Bolin Chen), the Creative Director of a furniture company who distributes their products to the store Sachie works at. Being a ‘trilingual expert’ (as Sachie’s boss puts it, although Bolin speaks five languages fluently!) first, he asks in Mandarin where a particular furniture came from. When she couldn’t respond he asks her in English and still she couldn’t understand. Finally, he asks in Japanese but she gave him incorrect information. He immediately dislikes her, berating her for having no foreign language skills and know nothing about the furniture she’s trying to sell.
Here’s another trait of the O blood type, when they set a goal, they will follow through until the end. Due to this encounter, Sachie decides to learn Chinese. By the next time they meet, she could already have a conversation with him but here comes the second hurdle. She still doesn’t know enough about the products she’s selling. With each snide, Sachie finds the motivation to improve herself and starts to take her job more seriously. She is also studying interior design and even got rid of that jellyfish aquarium because she finds it distracts her when she’s studying.
By their third encounter, Sachie ends up eating lunch with him and that’s when we find Eddie has a few flaws of his own our heroine can help in. Let’s be honest here I really enjoy Bolin’s character because he’s such a SNOB! If he actually rolls his eyes I might just die of laughter. Sachie reminds Eddie not everyone is rich and works in a powerful job like him so he should just loosen up and be more tolerant.
A few months have passed and because of her hard work, Sachie was even promoted to store manager. Eddie is impressed with how much she has changed, but now he is the one with problems. He confides in her because the company he works for has changed management, and they no longer agree on where the company is headed. With a smile on her face, our O blood type girl looks at this in a positive way saying when one door shuts, it just means another one will open. But Eddie berates her again saying she has no idea what it’s like to worry about money and career, since she has been living a sheltered life.
Sachie: Maybe you’re right. But even someone as stupid as me can be hurt.
The last part of the episode is where the story gets a bit farfetched. Another few months have passed and Eddie returns to the store. He quit his job to establish his own company in Taiwan. He thanks her for giving him the motivation to do it, but that also means he won’t be coming back to Japan.
Since the title of this drama is “How women of different blood types get married” – we know Eddie is proposing! After they met what, five times? Crazy right? And because of the O blood type’s brave and fearless spirit, what does she do? Move to Taiwan with him!
Ignoring the unrealistic ending this short story is uber cute! When Eddie looked down on Sachie saying what an incompetent saleslady she is, or when he comments her clothes are all so ugly (yes, really!) I was totally screaming DARCY in my head. You know, the snobby, aloof, seemingly emotionless hero from Pride & Prejudice (or even Bridget Jones’ Diary for a contemporary version)? Of course Eddie here doesn’t have enough screen time to match the awesomeness of Darcy himself but at least on the superficial level there are some similarities. Sachie here may not be Elizabeth Bennet but I really liked her character despite her initial flaws. The scene when he proposed and she just had this blank look on her face, shocked, is just priceless.
I am annoyed though they dubbed Bolin’s voice (when he speaks Japanese). The Mandarin and English they kept but the Japanese must’ve been voiced by some guy at least ten years older because it just doesn’t suit him at all! His Japanese is pretty fluent (evidence 1 and an older example) and his character is from Taiwan anyway so I don’t understand why they would dub him. Needless to say I wish this was longer than just one episode! It had the basis of a cute (not original, but cute) story and would improve immensely if the relationship between Sachie and Eddie had more development. Marrying someone after meeting them five times is just a bit crazy. Other than that, of course I would recommend it to fellow Bolin fangirls! It’s less than 40 minutes long so not much of a commitment anyway. Even though he’s only in one story I’m going to watch the other blood types as well now! It’s good to watch a one-shot to take a break from long dramas.